When his estranged grandfather is shot and left for dead, an Army Ranger plunges into the criminal underworld of his youth to find a murderer . . . and uncovers a shocking family secret
From the time he was six years old, Van Shaw was raised by his Irish immigrant grandfather Donovan to be a thief—to boost cars, beat security alarms, crack safes, and burglarize businesses. But at eighteen, Dono's namesake and protégé suddenly broke all ties to that life and the people in it. Van escaped into the military, serving as an elite Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, after ten years of silence, Dono has asked his grandson to come home to Seattle. "Tar abhaile, más féidir leat"—Come home, if you can.
Taking some well-earned leave, Van heads to the Pacific Northwest, curious and a little unnerved by his grandfather's request. But when he arrives at Dono's house in the early hours of the morning, Van discovers the old thief bleeding out on the floor from a gunshot to the head. The last time the two men had seen each other Dono had also been lying on the floor—with Van pointing a gun at his heart. With a lifetime of tough history between him and the old man, the battle-tested Ranger knows the cops will link him to the crime.
To clear his name and avenge his grandfather, Van must track down the shooter. Odds are strong that Dono knew the person. Was it a greedy accomplice? A disgruntled rival? Diving back into the illicit world he'd sworn to leave behind, Van reconnects with the ruthless felons who knew Dono best. Armed with his military and criminal skills, he follows a dangerous trail of clues that leads him deeper into Dono's life—and closer to uncovering what drove his grandfather to reach out after years of silence. As he plummets back into this violent, high-stakes world where right and wrong aren't defined by the law, Van finds that the past is all too present . . . and that the secrets held by those closest to him are the deadliest of all.
Edgy and suspenseful, rich with emotional resonance, gritty action, and a deep-rooted sense of place, Past Crimes trumpets the arrival of a powerful new noir talent.
Hamilton's accomplished debut introduces Van Shaw, an Army ranger who returns home to Seattle after 10 years, in response to a terse message from the man who raised him, his grandfather Donovan "Dono" Shaw: "Come home, if you can." Dono taught Shaw to be like him, a skillful and careful thief, but at 18, Shaw left him after a bitter fight and joined the army. On arrival at Dono's house, Shaw finds him on the floor, dying of a gunshot wound. In his quest for vengeance, Shaw connects with Dono's old buddies Hollis Brant, a smuggler, and Jimmy Corcoran, a tech expert. Shaw has to figure out what Dono was up to, and he needs all his criminal skills and ranger training to do so. Hamilton details Shaw's upbringing in sharply honed flashbacks and surrounds him with a cast of intriguing characters on both sides of the law. Readers will be eager to see more of this tough, clever hero.
What a great read. Fast paced and loaded with action. I didn't really care for the flashbacks ... I wanted to get on with the story. The ending fooled me, I thought the shooter was going to be Hollis, oh well. That's why I read, rather than try to write -- the plots are beyond my ability to figure out. Anyway, good job.
Good plot, interesting characters and well paced story.
I didn't know anything about this book, but I couldn't put it down after I started it.